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October 2007
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December 2007

Quote of the day

"I've seen a kid who never had an attention paid to him, and it was like nobody had ever reached out and grabbed on. The kid was just flopping. It took a long time and quite a bit of work to be able to just get the kid's attention enough to say hello - to say, 'Are you there? Are you inside there? What's happening?'

I know grownups like that, too. Nobody ever managed to get their attention, and so their atttention belongs to whatever billboard is beside the freeway, especially if it's painted in day-glo. Their minds belong to whatever professional mind-copper can cop them. If you don't know where your attention is, then you're open to having your head copped by anybody who can cop a head. I mean specifically the advertising industry, politicians, gurus, college 'experts, et cetera."

Stephen Gaskin, An Outlaw In My Heart, p. 91

Are corporations ruling the world? Is the bottom line ruining our world?

Is corporate power ruining your community, your state, your nation, and our world? What can be done about it? There is an excellent article in the YES magazine, Fall, 2007, entitled "Who Will Rule: Citizen movements are proving that we can take on corporate power, and together build a future that works for all life." Here is part of what the article says:

With all this happening, why do we not read more about the pervasiveness of corporate power? In large part because even the “Fourth Estate,” our media establishment, is majority owned by a handful of mega-corporations. Big corporations have become de facto governments, and the ethic that dominates corporations has come to dominate society. Maximizing profits, holding down wages, and externalizing costs onto the environment become the central dynamics for the entire economy and virtually the entire society. What gets lost is the public good, the sense that life is about more than consumption, and the understanding that markets cannot manage all aspects of the social order. What gets lost as well is the original purpose of corporations, which was to serve the public good.

You can read the whole article, which is well worth the time and effort, by clicking on the link below. How come our schools are not teaching this stuff in "civics" class? Isn't it time that our children and grandchildren know the truth?

Link: Strategic Corporate Initiative by Michael Marx and Marjorie Kelly.

Smoking linked to teen alcohol and drug use

Reuters reported on October 23, 2007, on a report issued by CASA, the Columbia University's National Center on Alcoholism and Substance Abuse,  which got its data from the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), that shows that cigarettes are indeed the gateway drug for alcolescent abuse of alcohol and marijuana. Here is a snippet of the Reuter's report:

Teenagers who smoke are five times more likely to drink and 13 times more likely to use marijuana than those who do not smoke, according to a report issued on Tuesday.

The report by Columbia University's National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse presented further evidence linking youth smoking to other substance abuse and spotlighted research on how nicotine affects the adolescent brain.

"Teenage smoking can signal the fire of alcohol and drug abuse or mental illness, like depression and anxiety," Joseph Califano, who heads the center and is a former U.S. health secretary, said in a telephone interview.

The report analyzed surveys conducted by the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration and other data on youth smokers. Most smokers begin smoking before age 18.

Smokers ages 12 to 17 are more likely drink alcohol than nonsmokers -- 59 percent compared to 11 percent, the report found. Those who become regular smokers by age 12 are more than three times more likely to report binge drinking than those who never smoked -- 31 percent compared to 9 percent.

Link: Smoking linked to teen alcohol and drug use(Print Version).

U.S. Pays $2,000 and Apologizes to Kin of Afghans Killed by Marines. Average payout to 9/11 victims is 1.7 million

According to an article in the New York Times on May 9, 2007, the U.S. agreed to pay $2,000.00 to the relatives of Afghans killed by Maries. The U.S. paid an average of 1.7 million to 9/11 victims and victim's families. Are U.S. lives more valuable than Afghan lives?

“I stand before you today, deeply, deeply ashamed and terribly sorry that Americans have killed and wounded innocent Afghan people,” Colonel Nicholson said, recounting to reporters the words he had used in the meetings. In a videoconference to reporters at the Pentagon, he added, “We made official apologies on the part of the U.S. government” and paid $2,000 for each death.

Link: U.S. Pays and Apologizes to Kin of Afghans Killed by Marines - New York Times.